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The Woodlands Marathon - Run

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The Woodlands, Texas
United States
The Woodlands Marathon
Total Time = 5h 23m 13s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I woke up at 3:30am nervous as anything. The last time I did a marathon was in 2008, and that didn't turn out too well. Breakfast was the usual...oatmeal, a spoonful of peanut butter, and I glass of water/gatorade.
Event warmup:

I headed to 24 Hr fitness at 5:30 to stretch, use the restroom (about 5 times) and stretch some more. I always get to races super early. There's no point to add any extra stress of parking, restroom business, and finding the starting line. These stresses can be prevented, so I leave plenty of extra wait time.

  • 5h 23m 13s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 20s  min/mile

The walk from the gym to the starting line was only .30 miles. I left the gym at 6:35 with plenty of time to spare. When I got to the starting line, I realized wayyyy more people signed up for the 1/2. I walked right up to the correct "pace team" with no problem. The 1/2 marathoners had a huge issue with not being able to even get into their corrals due to overcrowding. For once I was glad I wasn't dealing with that.

About 5 minutes before the start of the race, I struck up a conversation with an older man. He asked if it was my first marathon. I told him it felt like it. Come to find out, this man was about to complete his 260th marathon! He started running when he was 46 and did the 1st Houston Marathon when there were roughly 200 runners. He's now 81 and hasn't looked back. I was completely inspired by this man, Ray Boytim.

It was finally time to start the race. Once the gun went off, we ran in the opposite direction of the 1/2 marathoners. They were at a standstill for a good quarter of a mile just staring at all of us getting into our race.

The first 7 miles were nice and flat. I felt good, payed attention to my nutrition, and for the first time, didn't go out to fast. Robi met me at mile 7. I stopped for no more than maybe 3 minutes and took some salt tablets, followed by a few bites of a granola bar. I gave him a quick hug and kiss, and was off once again.

That's where I started feeling bad. As soon as I started running again, I developed a huge side cramp. My legs were still fresh, yet this messed me up mentally. I started to panic, thinking how on earth I would make it when I was hurting so early in the race.

I ran/walked most of flintridge wondering why I was in so much pain. Anytime I would run, my side would hurt. So I walked, I walked and walked until the cramp finally went away.

Miles 10-15 are pretty much a blur. Although I live in the Woodlands, this part of the race was a bit unfamiliar to me. Mile 15 was my first and only pee break. I knew I should drink more, but didn't want to have a stomach sloshing around too much. So I took sips of water/gatorade, and made sure to keep my water bottle filled the whole entire time.

Somehow I finally made it to Lake Woodlands (mile 20-24). The sun was right in my face, yet I was getting closer and closer to the finish. Surprisingly, I started to run more. I saw Erin followed by Robi up the road. I stopped to take some more salt tablets, and gave him a quick kiss. That's when I volunteer yelled, "Hey! That's the third girl you kissed from the race!" It gave me a good laugh and I went on my way.

By this time, the running course had thinned out, and I was playing cat and mouse with other runners. It seemed whenever I told my walk break, others were running and vise versa. At the turn onto Lake Front Circle, there was the rowdy group from LuLu with there funny signs. I stopped, did a little dance, and had beads thrown at me without having to flash anyone.

Finally, I ran past Six Pines and headed to the water way. i saw Robi once more on the corner of Six Pines and Lake Robbins. Right below him was the finish line, so I knew I had less than 1/2 mile left.

As I rounded the corner to the finish, I picked up my pace and sprinted across the finish line. There weren't many people left, but there were my parents, my in-laws, and Robi. That made my day.

My goal was to finish in under 5hours. That didn't happen, and I have no one to blame but myself.

Post Race Lunch: Jax Hamburgers on Magnolia! The best ever! Robi got a piece of meat stuck in this esophagus, so Sunday was spend in the ER getting it removed. Yes, Sunday. He thought it would pass, but no such luck.

What would you do differently?:

Follow my training plan.
Post race

Last updated: 2014-03-05 12:00 AM
05:23:13 | 26.2 miles | 12m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2014-03-05 10:19 AM

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The Woodlands, Texas
Subject: The Woodlands Marathon
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